8 NDC flagbearer hopefuls, NEC, meet over nomination, filing fee concerns
Flagbearer hopefuls of the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, excluding former President John Mahama, on Thursday met with the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, and the Council of Elders over the recent misunderstanding that has ensued over the filing and nomination fees the hopefuls are expected to pay to enable them contest in the upcoming presidential primaries.
The meeting was a the behest of the Council of Elders who appear to serve as mediators between the flagbearer hopefuls and the NEC.
The flagbearer hopefuls had been protesting the committee’s decision to charge each aspirant GHS 420,000 as filing and nomination fee, while the NEC has justified the amount.
This forced the concerned flagbearer aspirants to petition the Council of Elders over the matter.
The Council of Elders successfully caused the fee to be slashed by GHS 100,000, making it GHS 300,000 now.
The Council also pushed for the primaries to be held on January 26, instead of the initial January 19, 2019 date and pushed for December 4 nomination deadline to be extended to Saturday December 8, to allow for persons who could not pick forms more time to do so.
Before the intervention, five of the aspirants, namely, John Mahama, Prof. Joshua Alabi, Alban Bagbin, Sylvester Mensah and Stephen Atubiga picked their nomination forms for GHS 20,000 each.
The five aspirants who could not pick forms before the close of nominations were Ekow Spio Garbrah, Nurideen Iddrissu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava.
But at the meeting between the aspirants, the party’s Council of Elders and the national executives, the General Secretary of the party, John Asiedu Nketiah, gave aspirants an explanation of the factors that led to the fixing of the filing fees and the time table for the elections.
The meeting among other things discussed the need to consider the timetable of the National Electoral Commission of Ghana with respect to their own internal work programme, so as not to conflict with the electoral timetable of the NDC.
It also talked about the implications of the imminent Christmas and New Year period on the flagbearership elections, which would slow down the ability of aspirants to campaign and meet with their supporters and party faithful.
The national executives and the flagbearer hopefuls concluded the meeting with the acknowledgment that there was the need for continuing dialogue at the highest level of the party, especially between the Council of Elders, the national and functional executive committees and the aspirants.
The sub-committee of the Council of Elders indicated that there is the need to continue with their dialogue and consultations at all times.
The sub-committee of the Council of Elders which was chaired by former President Rawlings, included Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama, Madam Aanaa Ennin, former Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho, Nii Okaija Adamafio and the Secretary, Akuamoah Boateng.
Aspirants present included Alban Bagbin, Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Sylvester Mensah, Professor Joshua Alabi, Goosie Tanoh, Alhaji Nurudeen Iddrisu, Stephen Atubiga, Elikplim Agbemava.
Goosie Tanoh to pick nomination form on Saturday
Goosie Tanoh has given indications that he will pick his nomination form on Saturday following an intervention by the party’s Council of Elders which led to an extension of the deadline for picking of the forms.
Those who are yet to pick their forms aside from Goosie Tanoh, are Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava, after Ekow Spio-Garbrah and Alhaji Nurudeen, picked up nomination forms on Thursday.